Do you remember those ads that pop up right after you make a search on Google, giving you all the information you need to make an informed shopping decision? The product image, price, delivery fees or taxes, and the retailer name. Those same ads that allow you to compare prices & options for the same product across different retailers?
These are called shopping ads and they are powered by inventory feeds. Those same feeds power the Catalog ads you see across Meta, Snapchat, TikTok & other social platforms – which also provide you with all product details and allow you to directly go to the specific product page upon clicking on the ad. Hence, the success of any advertiser’s shopping performance on Google or their Social catalogue campaigns is heavily dependent on the health & readiness of their inventory feed. This article shall tackle precisely that –
Preparing your feed for advertising!
Whilst Google shopping campaigns have evolved and become heavily automated with Performance Max campaigns and so have Catalog ads on Meta with Advanced Shopping Campaigns+. There's still a heavy load of optimization to be carried out to ensure the success of these campaigns; however, the bulk of this optimization would be feed-based.
Thinking of feed optimization & where to get started might be overwhelming, so we will focus on a few attributes (of great impact) and whose optimization is considered a relevantly quick fix!
The 4 main steps of feed optimisation
However, before we jump into specific attributes, we'll discuss the 4 main steps to keep in mind when tackling any feed:
- Auditing the feed: As every feed is unique in its content & structure, it's important to start by identifying key problematic areas, quick wins that can be implemented, and at the same time identifying any attributes that are already very well optimized!
- Creating a feed roadmap journey: To ensure our approach to feed optimization is well-structured, it is important to create a roadmap highlighting the order of attribute optimization execution and how long each is expected to take. It's also important to break down the key steps to each attribute’s optimization (whilst relying on the findings from the audit as well). This will also allow for analyzing the solo impact of each change made.
- Cleaning up the data, tackling attribute by attribute: Next, we start with removing (hence the term cleaning) any irrelevant or incorrect data – with a special focus on misspellings, redundant words, symbols & codes, and unnecessary content.
- Introducing new attributes & fields: After cleaning up our feed, we move on to optimizing or enhancing our attributes, testing different tactics with our attributes (ex: testing having the brand name at the beginning vs end of a title), and introducing/creating new attributes (ex: introducing Custom Labels).
High-impact attributes for feed optimisation
Now, going back to focusing on high-impact attributes:
- Your title: This is a rather important attribute as it tends to be the first part of an ad to capture the user’s attention. With your title, you want to give the user just enough details of your product, without being too long. You should also ensure you have no misspellings or unnecessary codes or symbols within your title.
In terms of content, we would recommend you focus on the below:
- Manufacturer/Brand name (especially in the case of retailer)
- Product Name & Category
- Other details like Size, Material, Gender & Color (if relevant to the product)
- Your product type: While this attribute is not visible to the user seeing an ad, it's highly important to the success of any shopping campaign. When you’d like to have a campaign targeting beauty products and another targeting fashion, that is achieved by relying on the product type attribute to segment your campaigns. A guide on how to get started with optimizing your product type attribute is to follow your website’s product classification, going from broad to narrow (Example: Fashion > Women > Clothing > Dress). The key here is consistency!
- The image links: This URL pulls the main product image you have on your website, which is also the image that is displayed with your ads. Ensure there is an image for all products within your feed and also make sure that your images are focused on the product only (preferably with a plain white background) – with no logos, text or watermarks.
- Finally, custom labels: While these have no impact on the overall health of your feed, they are particularly useful when analyzing your campaigns, or even creating campaigns focused on specific products in your feed. There are many ways to label your products, below are a few examples to get you started:
- Exclusive products
- New arrivals
- High/Low volume stock products
- High/low margin products
- High ROI products